State-run Russian media outlets have confirmed that construction of a second launch pad at Vostochny Cosmodrome will begin this month. The new launch pad will be utilised for the country’s Angara rocket that is currently being developed by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center.
Construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome, which started in 2011 was meant to ease the country’s reliance on the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Soviet-era launch facility currently costs Russia around $115 million a year to lease from Kazakhstan. However, Vostochny has been fraught with corruption scandals, technical faults and financial problems.
Thus far, a single launch pad had been successfully constructed at Vostochny. Site 1S launches the country’s workhorse launch vehicle, the Soyuz-2. Three orbital mission has been launched from Vostochny so far with the first lifting off on April 28, 2016.
The new launch pad designated Site 1A will cost approximately $580 million. The contract for the launch pad was awarded to the construction company Kazan with work starting in September 2018. Construction is projected to be completed by the end of 2022.